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3 Rapid-Fire Health Care Social Media Networking Tips

Posted May 25 2012 3:09pm

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Lead, listen and learn how to engage in health care social media networking.


1.  Leadership – Innovation is only possible with leaders willing to challenge the status quo.  True leaders are the ones who passionately step out of the boundaries, willing to take action.  In order for social media to flourish in any organization it needs motivated leaders at the helm who are ready for action.  Leaders must have a passion to communicate authentically, embrace change, and step out of the silos.  Above all leaders must lead and engage with empathy and heart; and be ready for a challenge.

Notable health care institutions engaged in social media networking

Comprehensive list of hospitals are engaging in social media by Ed Bennett [ Hospital Social Network List -U.S. Hospitals that use social networking tools – updated on October 9, 2011]

1,229 Hospitals total

  • 575 YouTube Channels
  • 1068 Facebook pages
  • 814 Twitter Accounts
  • 566 LinkedIn Accounts
  • 946 Four Square
  • 149 Blogs
  • 4,118 Hospital Social Networking Sites

2.  Listen – Listen and monitor the conversations occurring on Facebook, and Twitter. Jason Boies writes on Radian 6’s Blog :

“Monitoring unveils what’s happening in the healthcare industry; and that includes your competition. Listening in on competitor conversations can help you in a host of ways. Maybe you’ll hear that they’re rolling out a new service offering, but that their customers have questions about pricing (which may inform decisions about your own offerings). You might find opportunities to fill patients’ unmet needs by monitoring competitive conversations. And you might even hear about what your competitor’s communities love about them, so you can understand what makes your facility different, or where you can tweak your strategies.”

Social networking sites help educate patients and consumers, raise awareness of health issues and it offers a forum to collaborate and connect with patients and caregivers.  Listen to the real-time communications taking place and engage with empathy.

3.  Learn – As leaders engage in social media platforms, it’s crucial to step outside of your silos and connect with other thought leaders from other industries.  By tapping into other industries, health care organizations and individuals can gain insights and new ideas.

It’s important to learn from other industries , and implement social media guidelines and policies.

Federation of State Medical Boards -Model Policy Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Social Media and Social Networking in Medical Practice (pdf)

Takeaway

Social media networking is not going to go away.  Lead with passion, purpose and heart.  Step outside your industry and learn from others.  Monitor and engage in conversations.  Establish social media guidelines and polices and always engage with empathy.

Your turn

Are you a health care professional or organization that engages in social media networking?  What is your experience?  What tips do you have for an individual or organization that is thinking about having a social media presence?  Please share your insightful thoughts in the comment section below.

As always thank you for sharing your insights and for your valuable time.

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Image:  Freedigitalphotos.net
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